Arizona assistant Tracy Duchac has stepped down from her role as an assistant after one season with the Wildcats. The newly-married coach is expecting her first child with husband Adam Slusser in December, and the pair will return to Texas where he will pursue professional opportunities as an engineer.
Duchac’s coaching stock skyrocketed early in her career; she was a volunteer assistant coach with Purdue as a 5th-year senior, after completing her eligibility, and was part of the Boilermakers’ run to one of the most successful seasons in school history. She was then snapped up by Texas A&M and coach Steve Bultman as his chief assistant with the Aggies, where that team became a powerhouse and perennial top-10 team.
Last season, when Eric Hansen took over the reigns at Arizona, he brought in Duchac to fill one of his assistant roles. Hansen came from Wisconsin, and with Duchac being a Wisconsin native and a former Big Ten athlete herself, there was a bit of familiarity there. Duchac is best-known for her work with sprinters, which fits her skills as a swimmer (she was the first Purdue woman ever under 23 seconds in the 50 free).
This job, along with assistant coaching positions at Ohio State and Stanford, plus the head coaching job for the Stanford women, are the biggest jobs still on the market, so expect quite a few more dominoes to fall. This late in the season, after most programs have started practice, some of these gigs may be filled from the club ranks as well.
There was some confusion earlier this summer after former Cal All-American Deborah Roth confirmed to us that she would be transferring to Arizona. We have received confirmation from sources close to the program that Roth is, in fact, enrolled in classes at Arizona, but will sit out a year before competing for the Wildcats. That will suit the program just fine, as they will have a much bigger need for a backstroker next season than they will this season, with Lauren Smart having one more year.